Josef Suk (composer)

Josef Suk (composer)

Josef Suk (4 January 1874 – 29 May 1935) was a Czech composer and violinist.


Suk was born in Křečovice . He studied at Prague Conservatory from 1885 to 1892, where he was a pupil of Antonín Dvořák. In 1898, he married Dvořák's eldest daughter, Otilie Dvořáková (1878–1905), affectionately known as Otilka. [ [ Antonín Dvořák - data ] ] He formed the Czech Quartet with three of his fellow students — Suk played second violin with them for most of his life. From 1922 he taught at the Prague Conservatory where his pupils included Bohuslav Martinů and Rudolf Firkušný. He died in Benešov.


Suk's early works show the influence of Dvořák and Johannes Brahms, while later pieces use more extended harmonies to create a more personal and complex style. Unlike many of his countrymen, he made little use of Czech folk music. His best known works are probably the youthful "Serenade for Strings" (1892) and the symphony, "Asrael" (1906), a work written in response to the deaths, firstly, of his father-in-law, and later, his own wife. Norman Lebrecht has singled out Václav Talich's 1952 recording of the Asrael Symphony with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on Supraphon as #19 in his list of the 100 best recordings of the century. [Norman Lebrecht, "Masterpieces: 100 Milestones of the Recorded Century" "The Life and Death of Classical Music". New York: Anchor Books (2007): 181 - 182]

Other pieces include the "Fairy Tale Suite" (1900), the cycle of piano works "Things Lived and Dreamed" (1909), and the trilogy of symphonic poems "A Summer's Tale" (1909), "The Ripening" (1917) and "Epilog" (1929, for chorus and orchestra).

He won a silver medal at the Art Competitions during the Olympic Games of 1932 at Los Angeles with his work "Into a New Life".

Suk was the grandfather of the violinist Josef Suk.

Chronological list of compositions

"See also: List of compositions by Josef Suk."

*1888 String Quartet (0) in D minor (Barcarolle in B flat & "Andante con moto" survive)
*1889 Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 2 (rev. 1890-91)
*1890 Ballade in D minor, for string quartet or violin & piano
*1890 Ballade in D minor, Op. 3, No. 1, cello & piano (rev. 1898)
*1890 Serenade in A, cello & piano, Op. 3, No. 2 (rev. 1898)
*1891 Three Songs without Words, piano
*1891 Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 1
*1891-92 "Dramatic Overture", Op. 4, orchestra
*1891-93 Six Pieces for piano, Op. 7
*1892 Fantasy-Polonaise, piano, Op. 5
*1892 Serenade for Strings in E flat, Op. 6
*1893 Melody for young violinists, for 2 violins
*1893 Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 8 (rev. 1915)
*1894 "A Winter's Tale", Shakespeare Overture for orchestra, Op. 9 (rev. 1926)
*1894 "Humoresque" in C, piano (or 1897)
*1895 "Album Leaf", piano
*1895 Five Moods, Op. 10, piano
*1895-96 Eight Pieces, Op. 12, piano
*1896 String Quartet 1 B flat, Op. 11 : Finale Allegro Giocoso (second version; rev. 1915)
*1896 String Quartet 1 B flat, Op. 11
*1897 Piano Sonatina in G minor, Op. 13 : Andante, included in "Four Episodes" for piano
*1897 Suite for piano, Op. 13 (rev. 1900 as Op. 21)
*1897 op13 rev1900 op21a arr19?? Piano Sonatina g: Minuet arr string quartet
*1897 "Village Serenade" for piano
*1897-98 op16 rev1912 Raduz & Mahulena: A Fairy Tale Suite for orchestra
*1897-99 op14 Symphony 1 E
*1898 op14 Bagatelle (originally the third movement of Symphony 1 E), piano
*1900 op17 Four Pieces for violin & piano
*1901 op20 arr1911-2 Under the Apple Tree, cantata after Zeyer for mezzo-soprano & orchestra
*1902 op22a Spring, five pieces for piano
*1902 op22b Summer Impressions, three pieces for piano
*1902 op23 Elegy for violin, cello, string quartet, harmonium & harp; also arranged for Piano Trio
*1903 op24 Fantasy g, violin & orchestra
*1903 op25 Fantastic Scherzo, orchestra
*1904 op26 Prague, symphonic poem for orchestra
*1905-6 op27 Symphony 2 c, Asrael
*1907 op28 About Mother, five pieces for piano
*1907-8 op29 A Summer's Tale, orchestra
*1909 Ella-Polka, included in Four Episodes for piano
*1909 op30 Things Lived & Dreamed, ten pieces for piano
*1909 Spanish Joke, piano
*1910-12 op33 Six Lullabies, piano
*1911 op31 String Quartet 2
*1912-17 op34 Ripening, symphonic poem for orchestra
*1914 op35a Meditation on the Saint Wenceslas Chorale, strings or string-quartet
*1917 Bagatelle with Nosegay in Hand, flute violin & piano
*1919 Album Leaf, included in Four Episodes for piano
*1919 Minuet, violin & piano
*1919-20 op35b Legend of Dead Victors, Commemoration for orchestra
*1919-20 op35c Toward a New Life, Sokol March, orchestra
*1920 op36 About Friendship, piano
*1920-29 op37 rev1930-33 Epilogue, text from Zeyer & Psalms, for soprano, baritone, bass, mixed chous & orchestra
*1924 About Christmas Day, included in Four Episodes for piano
*1932 Beneath Blanik, march arr Kalas for orchestra
*1935 Sousedska, for five violins, double-bass, cymbals, triangle, side-drum & bass-drum


External links

*Photo of Josef and Otilie Suk in a [ Dvořák Family Photo Gallery]
* [ Josef Suk:Piano Works]
* [ Josef Suk Piano Trio in c, Op.2 and String Quartet No.1, Op.11--sound-clips & short bio]

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